This is the time of year when we are seized with the desire to garden at every opportunity. We try to moderate this compulsion a little so we’re not complete wrecks at the end of the week. We have been remembering the days of running the nursery, when all we did was pot up plants & weed plants, & it’s good to be making ointments for a living instead. We have a small shadehouse with herbs in for sale, & we have decided that we’re not  allowed to expand this area… that remains to be seen. It does feel good to be propagating some of our old friends & keeping the old medicinal plants available. (If you are interested, we have plants listed on Trade Me, under Medicinal Herbs).

Yesterday we planted out about 20 bush tomatoes, a mix of Russian Red & Dwarf toms. There is still snow on the ranges not far from here, so we have taken the precaution of putting frost cloth over them. The cabbage plants are just starting to heart up, & hopefully will be big enough to harvest before the Cabbage white Butterflies arrive.Our garden, despite a lower zone of weeds, is looking & smelling lovely,with masses of Wisteria flowers, some late Magnolias, Roses, Philadelphus, Irises, Viburnums & a tiny dell of Lily of the Valley. We are working our way through the Bidibid & old Forget me nots, but the Couch Grass is a real challenge, we’re resorting to planting shrubs in the worst areas & hoping for the best.

Our sheep are doing really well, we’ve got 12 lambs, 10 of which are ewes. Walker had his way with a couple of the old girls & we have two white lambs, all the rest are Suffolk crosses. After losing lambs last year to Pulpy Kidney, we have vaccinated the lambs & drenched the whole lot. We’re not confident or knowledgeable enough to go totally organic with them. Also a dead sheep is much more distressing than a dead plant, which you can compost or cut up for firewood. While I was wandering around the gardens with the camera, I couldn’t resist taking some shots of the Gunnera & a few other things that just looked lovely, after all aside from food, one of the main rewards of gardening is that we have something lovely to look at.

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